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Chicago Lawyer Turned Small Business Owner Shares How She 'Frames' Her Clients

September 6, 2018


A native of Chicago, Angela Jackson moved to Iowa in 1999 when she took up a job practicing labor and employment law at Maytag in Newton.

A swanky new development was taking shape in Greater Des Moines (DSM) and Jackson took a chance on it. In December 2005 she opened the franchise, The Great Frame Up. West Glen Town Center where her gallery and frame store is located reminds her of Printers Row in Chicago, a place which mixes residential and retail uses and is pedestrian-friendly.
She got help with her business plan and financing through Iowa Center for Economic Success, an agency which receives funding from public and private sources, including the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Now in her 11th year in business, Jackson enjoys encouraging local talented visual artists. Her vision remains to fund missions and support artisans locally and abroad.


In the beginning, Angela focused on doing more diligence since she would be opening a franchise. She liked the idea of opening something more viable. Since she’s from Chicago, she couldn’t believe The Great Frame Up wasn’t in DSM. She says the rules on franchising are favorable for Iowans.

Transitioning to Financing The Great Frame Up

 Angela explains that she went all in when she opened the store. She used brand recognition to make the store marketable. As the business grew, it ebbed and flowed. Some weeks would have 20 orders, some wouldn’t have any. She learned that a key to success was following up since people are busy.

Hear the stories of other small business and startup business owners in the community in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the Small Business Resources newsletter to stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in DSM.

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